2017 is the year of spontaneity, new experiences and exciting adventures. Make it a year you’ll never forget
Is travelling something you’ve always wanted to do but you never got around to it? Or perhaps you’ve already caught the travel bug but there are still so many places you want to place your stamp. The New Year signifies seizing the day and finally ticking off those places on your bucket list.
If you’re anything like me, I find I am reminded of the free-spirited mortals roaming the world choosing a life of wanderlust over work on a daily basis. You know, the happy-go-lucky’s wearing a permanent tan and sunnies, who you constantly see on social media posting photos of their endless travels (and you’re forever wishing it was you instead).
Well, it could be you.
I remember when I finished university, all I wanted to do was travel. I was slightly apprehensive to enter working life so suddenly. The thought of being stuck in a job and a tiresome daily routine for the rest of my life, before I ever got the chance to see the world was a depressing thought. Luckily, I secured a 7-month internship at a magazine and saved up enough money - and that summer my best friend and I decided to trek the West Coast of America. It was undoubtedly the best month of my life. And I would say to anyone who wants to travel - do it now. It’ll be the best thing you ever do.
One thing I learned whilst travelling is that there is so much to see that I didn’t know existed. Places much bigger, more beautiful and a lot different to home. I gained mass independence and personal growth, too, not to mention the amazing international friends I made.
It sounds like a cliche but life is too short. When you look back at your life when your hair’s grey and withered (depressing, I know), you can say you’ve done the things you wanted to do with no regrets. Whether it’s exploring the coffee shops of Amsterdam or testing out the best bars in Barcelona, live your life the way YOU want, learn new things, embrace different cultures and become a well-rounded person along the way.
Isn’t that what life's about? Ending up somewhere different everyday, and not knowing what you’re going to do or who you’re going to meet. The world really is your oyster.
I’ve gathered some inspiring quotes from travellers about their amazing experiences. Everyone I spoke to had a unique story to tell.
“I decided not to go to university and saved for a year to go travelling solo around Malaysia and Thailand. I had never done anything like that before and I was quite nervous going alone. I had nothing to worry about - it was a great way to meet new people and make lifelong friends! It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Leah Chander, 20
“I went traveling in Europe for 3 weeks this September. I went to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Slovenia, Paris, Croatia and Italy. Only spending a maximum of 3 days in each country made time extremely precious and ultimately meant that I treasured every moment I was abroad. It was a really humbling experience and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to escape from their comfort zone and see the world in a completely new light.”
Narayan Randev, 23
He went on to say:
“Hostel memories are up there with the best I've ever had. I stayed at St Christopher’s Inns hotels in Amsterdam and Paris - I absolutely loved them; they're so sociable for young people which was perfect for what me and my mates wanted.”
“I’ve never felt so free and revitalised than when I’m travelling. It’s hard to describe the feeling but it’s a feeling I’ll continue to chase.”
Lizzie Smith, 23
“Post-graduation, a friend and I decided to interrail Europe. We had the most incredible time - it’s almost impossible to put into words! Europe is beautiful; diverse in its history, culture and people. I came home with a new appreciation for life.”
Kayleigh Turner, 25
“We did some crazy things in Europe. We went to a salsa bar and ended up drunk on a carousel! You’ll gain independence and learn that things don’t always go to plan (we spent the night sleeping on the floor of an Austrian train station!) but it’ll make for some hilarious stories and some lifelong memories!”
Sonam Mahli, 24
“It’s not about the final destination, it’s all about the journey to get there, the exciting or not so exciting (at the time) mishaps that happen along the way. Those lost credit cards, those days where no ATMs work or there’s no power and you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere...priceless! 50 years later the reminiscing of those experiences is what makes travelling…”
Rikki Kotetcha, 28
The easy part is deciding you want to travel. The hard part is organising it all but we can make it easier for you. Want to travel around Europe in 2017? Stay in St Christopher’s Inns hostels, based in some of the best European cities from Barcelona, Amsterdam to Bruges to Copenhagen. Carpe Diem!